Gaming Laptops Under $500

Good gaming laptops under $500 are currently pretty rare. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for a $500 laptop with some 3D capabilities for a game here and there, but there just aren’t really good options under $500 almost never now (it was actually better few years ago). Some models with the Nvidia MX150 GPU are selling for around $550-$600 (please check the $600 listings). I would recommend either going with a used/refurbished laptop from previous generations, like the quite old Dell 7559 (used).

I would suggest waiting for serious competition from AMD’s new chips, like the Ryzen 2200U and 2300U which should be available in cheaper machines, but delivering better 3D performance.

UPDATE: new models with the AMD Ryzen 2500U start to show up

The situation is quite annoying. For those who like to keep it under $500 no matter what, I would recommend asking here in the comments or posting a question over the forums, and we’ll find something. But, for those who are willing to shell a little more, refurbished models (like the HP 15t) for $550-$600 are available in the $600 listing (linked above).

AllGLJ Recommended
* = FPS mark based on external benchmarks for same model** = FPS mark based on GLJ benchmarks for roughly similar model
Vega 8 (Ryzen 2500U), AMD 2500U
Storage

Still no in-depth reviews, but the Acer A315-41 is the first model in the US to be equipped with the AMD Ryzen 2500U APU, integrating the AMD Vega 8. 512 stream processors. For a $400-$500 laptop, this is a bump up in 3D performance.

As a comparison, the 2500U integrated Vega 8 rivaling the Nvidia GT 940MX  performance level, and that’s only because the 2500U is TDP limited (15W).

As a bottom line, I would suggest keeping an eye for reviews and discounts. Although $500 is a good price for this performance level right now, other matters remain – display quality, HDD speed, keyboard and more. It might be worth it to shell another $100 for an MX150 model with an IPS and SSD.